Police have confirmed that Empire star Jussie Smollett, 36, required hospital treatment in Chicago this morning. It followed a 2am attack in the city. They are investigating whether the incident was a hate crime.
The incident was first reported by TMZ. Quoting sources close to the actor, it says he flew in to Chicago from New York Monday evening. At around 2am, he went out to a local Subway outlet to get food.
On leaving, he was confronted by the men. According to police, they yelled homophobic and racist insults at him.
Both men were white, according to TMZ. The physically assaulted Smollett. At one point, they put a noose around his neck. Police say they also, ‘poured an unknown chemical substance’ on him.
Smollett was able to take himself to Northwestern Memorial hospital but discharged later in the morning. He is said to be in ‘good condition.’
‘Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,’ a Chicago police spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter.
Smollett, who is gay in real life, plays the part of gay character Jamal Lyon on Empire. He also sings as well as acts, and is due to perform in Chicago this weekend.
GSN has contacted Smollett’s agent for comment.